Album: Suk, Ripening etc – BBC Symph / Belohlávek (Chandos)

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The Independent Culture

Pupil of Dvorák, and sometime teacher of Martinu, Josef Suk died in 1935, just a few years before the Czech musical tradition was irrevocably severed by war.

He was already yesterday's man: a composer whose music looked back to the Romantics, while Janacék and his pupils hurtled forward. Jiri Belohlávek's tender reading of this 1917 symphonic poem is flooded with dewy woodwind and glowing strings. Brahms is a key influence in Suk's early, otherwise Dvorákian First Symphony, a gauche but humane hymn to nature.